The NHS is "well prepared" to cope with winter-related health problems, according to the Department of Health, despite Britain being in the grip of a winter vomiting outbreak.
Thousands of cases have struck England and Wales and 45 hospital wards have been forced to close.
– Department of Health spokeswoman
The NHS is well prepared for the increase in winter-related health problems which are typical at this time of year.
Anyone who thinks they may have norovirus should avoid their doctor's surgery or A&E as this could spread the illness to vulnerable people and healthcare workers. Patients with symptoms should call NHS Direct or their local GP practice for advice.
For most people affected by norovirus it is an unpleasant but short-lived illness. There is no specific treatment but patients are advised to take plenty of drinks to replace lost fluids.